Severus Snape had been dealing with the High Table, and its gossips, for years. Every year they found something to josh with him about - mostly a running bet on which Hufflepuff he'd make cry first, and how many would cry before the end of the year. Snape was fairly certain they'd all lost that bet this year - he was only teaching the upperclassmen, after all. And they were, by and large, used to his ways. Which is to say, even the Hufflepuffs managed to cry outside the classroom. Generally always.
Today it was Minerva, looking at him, those eerie cat eyes in a human face. And Minerva wasn't a gossip, not normally, though they did have a running feud about Quiddich that Snape had started when he was in an irascible mood, and that Minerva had kept up because she was a hysterical fanatic.
Minerva's mouth quirked into a smile that would have looked more natural on Snape's own face. "Dancing, Severus? You had them dancing?!" Her eyes were alight with a peculiar sort of glee.
Severus Snape sat calmly, picking up his Earl Gray tea (hot and black), and taking a sip. Absently, he gestured toward Minerva, as he said calmly, "Whatever works, Minerva. You've heard me say it often enough."
Minerva smirked, and said, "You generally use that old canard to justify having half the Hufflepuff firsties in tears."
"It works, does it not?" Snape said, leaning back and crossing his legs.
"But you, Severus Snape, had your class dancing!" Minerva said, and Snape was glad that she wasn't clapping her hands in glee. She certainly seemed gleeful enough. It was bad enough having this conversation, but having the entire Great Hall be witness to it? That would mean Snape would need to put a stop to it. And he truly didn't need another enemy.
"In battle, you know as well as I do, that being prepared for the unexpected is one of the primary skills." Snape said, taking another dainty sip of tea. "That said, I think the next skill they shall be developing is that of The Hunt." Snape smirked inwardly to himself at his ability to create capitalized words while talking. "I believe you have spent countless hours in feline form, developing your skills in that regard..."
Minerva let out a gentle snort, smiling just a bit, and said, "Of course, would you like some assistance?"
Snape smirked, and said, "I would be most obliged."
"What are they talking about up there?" Nott asked.
"No idea, don't stare," Malfoy responded, his eyes more focused on the Gryffindor table.
[a/n: Of course Snape gets all the bets. He's the lively one among the bunch.
Leave a review, and I'll write about Hermione on the warpath - which is after class.]